After writing a number of articles about Real Estate and why we all should get involved, I decided it was time to change the narrative and talk about the how. After some research and talking to a few individuals at different stages in the game, I have put together a brief piece on the subject of how to break into the real estate industry.
Sources indicate that a couple of years ago, as long as you had a good location, design, price, etc., you could make off-plan sales easily and build from there. However, many unassuming buyers and investors soon found that things were not as assumed, as they soon discovered just how eroded many developers’ reputations were. Many honest buyers lost their investments to these fraudsters who posed as developers, thereby soiling the clean reputation others in the industry had tried hard to build over time; an ordeal the industry is yet to recover from.
To make sales, there must be trust. People need to have considerable trust in who they’re giving their money to. Unfortunately, trust is very scarce in the real estate market right now. And this has adversely affected especially the off-plan sales strategy. The average Nigerian cannot afford to lose their money to shady developers. This has become a major hurdle for new market entrants.
Another is liquidity. Presently, money doesn’t change hands enough in Nigeria. It’s not moving quick enough for the ordinary Nigerian to have a good amount of cash on hand or to easily liquidate monetary assets. This means that generating enough capital to start is another likely inhibitory issue for new market entrants.
So, with all the mistrust and little or no liquidity, it must be nearly impossible for one to break into the real estate scene, right? Wrong. It is still very much possible. And with these points below I will show you how.
- Get Flush: This is a term that means ‘get money’! Lots of it. Although the amount you need will depend on the kind of development you’re looking to build, try to get a bit more than you’re planning to use. When budgeting, be sure to make room for overspills. Build a cash reserve.
- Good Team: In order to get to where you want to be in life, you are going to need people’s help along the way. In real estate, you will need an impeccable and hardworking team comprised of a lawyer, construction engineer, architect, aggressive sales person(s), operations lead, and communications personnel; professionals with enough experience in the market. People who can do things that you can’t do and will be with you every day. However, don’t forget that YOU are also a part of your team. Be well knowledgeable about the market. And remember they will follow your energy and imitate your level of belief. So, make sure you bring it all on every single day.
- Strategic Alliances: These people are not necessarily part of your day to day team but you need them to start and, maybe, even later on. These are people who can get other people on your side. Make others trust you and thus open their wallets to you. With these alliances, go in with your eyes open. Be smart and reward them for their efforts. In this, you will need your day-to-day team to have your back so they can catch things that you might miss.
- Fools Rush In: This statement doesn’t just count when it comes to love. Do not rush in. In an effort to keep up with the masses, many have masterminded their own downfall. Take your time to think every decision through as much as you can. Devise a strategy and then execute.
- Be Yourself: As individuals, we all have what makes us unique. So, bring all that you are to the table. Don’t despise the special things about yourself. Do not try to be someone else in the industry. It rarely ever works out for copycats. Just be yourself and focus on your vision.
Nothing is fair in Nigeria. The system is rigged against the honest individual, sadly. But one thing is for certain, if you can be that genuine solution for people or meet a peculiar need, no matter who you are or who you don’t know, people will come looking for you. People celebrate excellence and the best. There are enough people in Nigeria and/or Africa for you to create your own market. You don’t have to be selling the most expensive houses or only build for big names. All you need is a vision and perseverance. All you need is one good idea and the willpower to build on it no matter what. Certain things seemed impossible until someone defied the norm and did them. You too can do the impossible!